The details of the 5th report was shared with members of CSOs, private sectore and publics in Herat

Over 60 participants from government, civil society and private sector took part in a one day workshop organized by Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) in western province of Afghanistan Herat. Besides being an outreach trip, findings of AEITI 5th reconciliation report was also shared with them, and meanwhile had their views about the existing issues, challenges and problems in the mining sector.

Engineer Ziyaulhaq Popal director of mines for Herat, Mostofiyat employees of Herat, employees of the directorate of mines Herat, and over 50 members of the civil society and media presenters also participated in this one day workshop. Participants were briefed in full detail about EITI activities and standards. Later they were briefed about the mentioned initiative’s activities in Afghanistan. During the workshop it was recommended that EITI is highly productive to be fully implemented in Afghanistan and that Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is definitely the reason to bring transparency in Afghanistan’s mining sector.

Participants were told that Afghanistan tries its best to bring more transparency in the mining sector, aiming to gain EITI membership, and this is the reason that in the past seven years till now Afghanistan has brought vivid reforms in extraction of mines, mining laws and revenue collection.

Recommendations of AEITI 5th reconciliation report were considered significant by the participants, therefore, government was asked to provide assistance to implement these recommendations in order to widen and strengthen transparency in the mining sector in Afghanistan.

In a group discussion that took place Mr. Ziyaulhaq Popal director of mines for Herat province, responsible of the mining society in the west of Afghanistan Mr. Abdul Samay Tokhai, head of revenue department at Herat Mostofiyat Mr. Mahboob, regional responsible of civil society in the west of the country Mr. Sayed Ashraf Sadaat took part in it. Mr. Ziyaulhaq Popal director of mines for Herat province put up light in regard of the mines in Herat province, and highlighted that there are 18 active mining contracts in the province and the most magnificent of those are marbles and coal. He added that information about the mining contracts are all located at the website of the ministry of mines and petroleum and that in accordance with EITI standards all these information have been shared publically. However, head of revenue department at Herat Mostofiyat Mr. Mahboob said that, they have 22 active contracts and only 8 of them have cleared their taxes. According to him different extractive companies in Herat province that have not paid their taxes and penalties reaches to an amount of 90 million Afghan currency, and said that they have reported about this issue to the high ranked government officials. 

Mr. Tokhi, responsible for the marbles section in Herat, said there was no illegal exploitation of marbles in Herat and all the extraction was done legally, but the government does not cooperate well enough, he added. By investing in Chasht district around hundred Kilometers away from the city, he said he really has put himself in a big danger. On behalf of civil society, Syed Sharif Sadaat said that there is no accurate and sufficient information about mines and mining contracts with the public and according to him even the signed contracts have not been properly implemented and have not benefited the people.

AEITI outreach trip to Herat funded and supported by GIZ, where the participants spoken about the extraction of mines and the revenue collected from this sector, later on all the participants specially the civil society asked the government to fully and highly support AEITI to gain full membership of EITI. The participants also shared their views about the extraction of mines in Herat province and they added that there must be a very regular reporting system about the mines contract and its extraction work, thus, that can be shared on regular basis with the public and specially the people of Herat.

In its outreach trip to Herat province the AEITI team had individual meetings with the Mostofi of the mentioned province and as well as the directorate of mines and petroleum. Both the parties announced their full commitment and support to AEITI and they added that, they are ready to provide any sort of assistance which is and will be relevant to the extraction sector and promised that they will provide data which will be needed for AEITI’s next reconciliation report.